Mural paintings in Ancient Peru: The case of Tambo Colorado, Pisco Valley

Véronique Wright, Gianella Pacheco, Henry Torres, Oliver Huaman, Aldo Watanave, Elvira L. Zeballos-Velasquez, Matthew R. Suchomel, Leopoldo Suescun, Cléa Moulin, Patricia Carola Melero Sandoval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Tambo Colorado is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Southern Peruvian coast, because of its stunning architecture, its extraordinary pictorial decoration, and its strategic location in the section of the Great Inca Road. The Research Project Tambo Colorado considers necessary to conduct a comprehensive analysis encompassing nature of the materials (archaeometric analysis) as well as a proper understanding of their conservation status of its architecture. In this regard interdisciplinary research provides the necessary tools to achieve these goals. For this reason our team is integrated by archaeometrists, engineers, conservators and archaeologists. Due to of this transdisciplinary approach, one of the main objective is the study of painting technology developed by the craftsmen of the site. The first results obtained, thanks to an analytical strategy combining observation and elemental and structural analysis (colorimetry, SEM-EDS, XRF, XRD and SXRD), allow us to identify the coloring materials used. These data enabled to reconstruct the operational chain followed to elaborate the murals (since the pigments extraction to the making of the murals) but also to consider and develop a suitable surfaces conservation plan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalScience and Technology of Archaeological Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Archaeometry
  • Conservation
  • Inca
  • Mural painting
  • Peru


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